Saskatoon Speed Dating Success Story: Anthony and Sophie

bi-racial couple looks up at bright fair grounds, smiling

“I love meeting new people. So, I wanted to meet people and make some friends and go from there. Obviously, having a girlfriend out of it was an absolute cherry on top of the cake. “

This week, I spoke with a pair who matched at Saskatoon Speed Dating. Anthony* and Sophie* have been in a supportive, long-term relationship since connecting at their Do Sask event in January 2019. I asked them if they would share their experience and they graciously agreed. I chatted with each of them individually and encouraged honest responses.

Read on if you’re curious to learn how this couple developed from an initial 4-minute speed dating conversation.

What did you think about speed dating before you came?

Anthony: “I didn’t really have any feelings about it at all. I’d seen speed dating in a few movies and things. I didn’t know that Saskatoon had such a thing.

When I heard about it, I thought, “What the heck!” I would give it a try. I was in the mountains on a snowboard trip scrolling on Facebook. Something popped up and it was Do Sask, so I read into it. I saw speed dating and read about it and went from there.”

What did you want out of speed dating?

Sophie: “To be honest, going into it I didn’t have any expectations. One of my friends worked at the Crazy Cactus. She and I were both part of a group of friends who were mostly coupled up since high school or a few years after. When she heard Do Sask Speed Dating was scheduled at the Crazy Cactus, she began a campaign to get me to join her. I wasn’t gung-ho in the very beginning. But I thought why not to see what would happen. I didn’t expect that it would be the way I met my future partner.”

Anthony: “I was going in to have a new experience and try something new. I didn’t necessarily want a relationship out of it, but I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone. I love meeting new people. So, I wanted to make some friends and go from there. Obviously, having a girlfriend out of it was an absolute cherry on top of the cake.”

Tell me about what happened the night of speed dating.

A: “The night of I was running late. I rolled up a minute or two to 7 pm. I figured I was going to be a couple minutes late. I just remember thinking to myself “here we go”. There were some butterflies. I remember seeing all the people there. Once I registered, I knew I had a drink ticket and went to grab one. I started chatting with some of the guys there and my butterflies went away.”

S: “I told my friend I really needed a drink. I had no idea what I was walking into. There were a lot more people there than I thought there would be.

I liked the icebreaker game which introduced me to everyone who was there that night. We played people bingo and got to know other people. It was kind of nice to have a little conversation with everyone before the dating started.“

A: “We had an introductory bingo game. There was a bingo card and we were asked to find people that matched the description and write their name on the squares. There were no nerves, it was just excitement at that point.

Once the game started, I remember thinking, “Okay, you’re supposed to mingle”. A few of the girls had huddled up together asking questions and some of the guys were asking questions to each other. My initial thought was, “I’m here to go on dates, so I’m going to talk to the girls”.

I remember seeing Sophie walk in at the beginning of the night. With the game on, I went right over to her. She was happy and had this beautiful smile. I remembered her immediately. Once the dates started, I was looking forward to having that 4-minute date with her.

S: “As soon as you said go for the ice breaker game, Anthony was the first person who came up and talked to me. I kind of liked being approached first. He was nice to talk to. He said it was nice meeting you and I’ll talk to you soon.”

A: “During our date, we were talking about football. She was very open and didn’t seem shy. She plays fantasy football and I like football. My go-to question for that night was, “here’s a plane ticket you can go anywhere you want, where are you going?” And I had a lot of good conversations from that. Sophie was very easy to talk to. The 4 minutes flew by. We chatted through the intermission.”

S: “When it came time for Anthony’s 4-minute date to end, he asked, “Do you want to keep talking?” Intermission had started, so we decided to chat right through the short break. We talked about fantasy football. And we’re both big travellers, so we discussed all the places we’ve been and wanted to go. That probably took up most of the conversation.”

Describe your first date after speed dating.

S: “On our first date, we met at D’Lish by Tish Cafe and got a drink. We took it to go and walked along the river. We walked to Rotary Park, by River Landing, and up the Broadway Bridge. It was the end of January, so the night turned cold. We went to the Yard and Flagon to warm up a bit. Anthony walked me back to my car at D’Lish before we said goodnight.”

A: “We met up at a coffee shop about a week later, grabbed a cup of joe, and went for a stroll by the river. Tried to get to know each other. There was a wind – it was winter – so we just kept moving. I walked her back to her car gave her a kiss goodnight.”

How has your life been better since attending?

S: “I’ve never really had a serious relationship and it’s really nice having someone to share a life with. Anthony adds to my life.”

A: “I’ve had a girlfriend since then, so it’s been a change for the better. It was a pretty good bonus. I’m happy and the months have flown by since meeting her. It’s a great relationship. We support each other. It’s very easy to get along.”

Do you feel like four minutes in person is enough to decide?

A: “Yeah, it is enough to make a decision about someone. Pretty quickly you get a vibe if you want to chat with that person any further. Whether it’s friendly or more. You’ll know if want to talk with them again.”

How do you know if speed dating was successful?

A: “It was a win for me because I gained a girlfriend out of it. For me it was going to be a success because I went. I didn’t back out! I booked it back from the mountains. And the next day I thought I was going to cancel. The act of trying something different that not everyone would do made it a success. It put me out of my comfort zone. Not everyone would do this. It’s different way to go about meeting people.”

S: “I’d never been to speed dating before. I’d even mark it as successful if I hadn’t found someone because I’d have made some new connections.”

How do you feel about online dating or apps?

S: “I was visiting a friend in Calgary. She took my phone and made a Tinder account. I didn’t want to activate it in Saskatoon because I found it very superficial. But I did go on some dates from the app. I saw one guy for a couple months and it didn’t work out with him long-term.”

A: “Nothing against the dating apps. They have their good and bad. I think they’re fine. I’ve had dates from those too. They’re just another page in the dating book.

Nowadays there’s Tinder, bumble, POF, and speed dating is just another way. For me, you meet people face-to-face and have a good chat. You get to know a lot about a person by chatting. ”

What is the most frustrating thing about dating before meeting your speed dating match?

S: “The most frustrating thing is meeting new people. I have a great group of friends, but there aren’t too many new people coming into the group.

Lots of my friends have been dating since around high school or shortly afterwards. They met through mutual friends in high school. A couple years after high school they would come around. That’s how most of the relationships happened.”

A: “For me, dating was just getting to meet new people and hopefully something goes well from there. Nothing seemed to work out for a bit there. But that’s just me and the other person weren’t meant to be. I probably wouldn’t have met Sophie if I didn’t go to speed dating.

I have a certain group of friends from high school. There was a bit of a disconnect. They were with someone since high school. I could never relate to that. I have other friends through hockey. I always seem to meet new people here and there.”

Would you recommend Do Sask speed dating to others?

A: Yeah, absolutely. I would recommend speed dating to others. If someone asked me, I would tell ’em it’s a lot of fun and it turned out better than I would have expected.

Do you have a speed dating match success story? Share yours now. 

*Names have been changed to protect the couple’s privacy. Testimonials have been lightly edited for clarity.

Speed dating match testimonials are honest and genuine. However, they don’t guarantee similar match results.

Why Valentine’s Day is the Worst Date Night of the Year

There are 365 nights in a year, so why is Valentine’s Day the absolute worst date night of them all? Before I get into my reasons, I’ll start with a story.

One of my favourite Valentine’s Day memories was when this guy I met asked me to be his Valentine. Ignoring the fact that this was a totally cheesy move – I was legitimately excited. We had met a few weeks earlier and hit it off quickly which had taken me by surprise. Up until that day, I had never been asked to be someone’s Valentine before, so I didn’t know how to react or what to expect.

As it turned out, the guy cooked me jambalaya and pralines. He realized as I arrived that he needed to go on a mad rush to buy a corkscrew for a bottle of wine. When he got back, he served our dinner on a pop-up Rubbermaid table that he bought especially for that date. Later on, we went for a blisteringly cold walk under the stars.

If I had imagined what modern society promotes as the perfect Valentine’s Date Night, I probably would’ve been disappointed. But because I had no expectations and was open to trying something new, I was pleasantly surprised.

  • Was it messy? Yes.
  • Was it romantic? Yes.
  • Was it everything Hallmark tells you it should be? Absolutely not.
  • What did I do for him? Carved his Valentine into a banana (he won that round).

That guy is now my husband.

Excuse the fingers, but this is the actual banana Valentine of 2014.

Before this happy memory, I’d been alone on many a Valentine’s Day. While I made an effort to bake cookies and give cute cards to my friends and colleagues, I often felt lonely and sad on February 14th.

Maybe it’s because I’m an easy target for advertisers.

The gift-driven holiday is designed to make people believe that most people in the world are in love, so that you can look forward to expressing your love with the “perfect” gift for your future soulmate. But these gifts are just superficial tokens with inflated price tags.

The town of Singleton always feels like a population of 1.

The reality is that it’s closer in size to a metropolis. A large portion of the world is now living independently. According to 2016 Canadian census data published in the Globe and Mail, “the number of one-person households… surpassed all other types of living situations“. If you’re single and living in your own place, you definitely aren’t alone.

Valentine’s Day seems more like an item on a to-do list than an act of love.

Love can be dirty and downright confusing. The Hallmark kind is just fine sometimes, but it doesn’t capture the actual feelings you have for someone. Love – true love – isn’t about the amount you spend on a date. It’s so much more than a box of candies, or a swanky dinner over candlelight. It can’t be contained in a heart-shaped box, or within the limits of a bank account.

The more intimate love, the kind that wakes up at night to check on you when you’re sick, the kind that encourages you to speak when every part of you wants to remain quiet, the kind that makes you laugh until you cry… is the kind of love that can only creep into your day when you least expect it. And odds are good (about 364 : 1) that day won’t be Valentine’s Day.

The need to continue Valentine’s Day for “tradition’s” sake.

Here’s the thing: traditions start as brand new ideas. You and I get to decide whether or not they’re worth doing again.

I mean, we go on regular date nights the rest of the year. We purchase gifts for each other just because. Should we wait around for one day to pay a premium for things we do all. the. time? (Here’s a hint: date nights make great everyday acts of love with lower price tags and expectations!)

If singles feel isolation like I did on Valentine’s Day, and couples just want to check off a box to satisfy their relational duties – then what is the actual point of keeping Valentine’s Day around for another year?

What if more of us let go of the idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day and welcomed messy memories? That’s what I want this tradition to symbolize for you this February 14th.

Pick 10: Fall Date Ideas for Every Couple in Saskatoon

Saskatoon autumn date ideas

I’m lucky to have experienced many autumn things in Saskatoon to build this definitive guide to fall date ideas in the city.

So far, I’ve played puzzles blindfolded with horses, transformed into a human soccer ball and got attacked by children, picked a pumpkin from the local patch, and went indoor mini golfing. But there are still plenty of things I haven’t done that made their way into this post. 

See also

A LOCAL GUIDE TO FALL DATE IDEAS IN SASKATOON

Treat your date to a plate of gourmet donuts, plan a cozy bonfire picnic in the park, tailgate at a local football game, or courageously tackle a high ropes course. There is a world of fall fun listed below.

Get a bird’s eye view of the changing leaves.

Photo via Blue Mountain Facebook Page.

Take a road trip to the zip-line and high ropes course at Blue Mountain Adventure Park, or get even higher in a hot air balloon ride with Sundance Balloons.

Plan a farmers’ market grocery haul and make a local producer smile.

Taken at the Saskatoon Farm near Calgary.

Set a reasonable spending limit and go on a shopping spree at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market – just in time for a harvest feast.

Slip on a pair of safety socks and become a human soccer ball.

Apex Trampoline Park Saskatoon
Photo via Apex Trampoline Park Facebook Page.

After trying to fend off children (and my date) for close to 10 minutes, I was out of breath and sweating through my clothes. Plan to spend about 30 minutes total at the park – believe me, it’s more than enough time!

Choose a topic you both love and browse for the best reads at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Go on a mini coffee and donut crawl.

Sample the latest gourmet flavours at the newly opened Pals Donuts (Revolve Cafe) and Darkside Donuts.

Gourmet Donuts from Darkside
Photo via Darkside Donuts Facebook Page.

Play an escape game with a live, 1-tonne animal as your key.

Equine Assisted Couples Communication Course
The owners of Lift Farm invited us out for a night.

Put your communication skills to the test with a rescue horse at the helm at Lift Farm EAL. On date nights at Lift, you’ll work through different obstacles to see if you can complete them together.

Tailgate with thousands of friends from town.

Pack your warmest toque, stadium cushion, and cooler and head for the Huskies game.

Pumpkin picking has never been more fun!

Black Fox Distillery Pumpkin Festival 2017
My friend and I got pretty good at the Black Fox Pumpkin Roll.

Pick your favourite pumpkin to decorate and carve together from the folks at Black Fox Farm.

Hike along the Meewasin Valley at Beaver Creek followed by a bonfire picnic at a local park.

Slow clap your way into their heart with a round of indoor mini golf at Market Mall on a rainy autumn day.

Choose a rural Saskatchewan town you haven’t visited and make a day trip out of it.

Drive the country back roads and plan your own photo scavenger hunt to capture the adventure. (Stuck on ideas? Try What to Order at Saskatchewan’s Favourite Hidden Gem Bakeries or How to spend 48 hours in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan.)

Amy sitting on a red two-person swing, large smile and right hand holding the chain.
I took a short hike down to the riverbank behind Petrofka Orchard and stumbled on this swing for two.

Give your date a classic autumn experience with a day of apple picking at Petrofka Orchard. (Closes for the season on October 15th.)

DO YOU PLAN ON ADDING ANY OF THESE FALL DATE IDEAS TO YOUR LIST, OR DID I MISS YOUR FAVOURITE? JOIN THE DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP TO HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE DISCUSSION.

10 Reasons Why I Started Saskatoon Speed Dating

Speed Dating in Saskatoon

As a regular speed dating host, I get asked this question a lot:

“Why did you start a speed dating business?”

My answer will now be:  read this post. I’ve made a list below of some of the reasons that impacted my decision to start offering this service for Saskatoon singles. 

1. Making connection intentional.

I know that it’s hard to meet people when you’re busy with work, school, business, and LIFE. If you don’t make time for meeting new people you’ll stay in that endless rut.

2. A less-than-fun first timer experience.

You know what they say about your first time… I tried speed dating years ago and hated it. Every man asked me, “So, what do you do for a living?” It felt like a bad job interview that that I couldn’t escape.

I thought I could make some improvements and started testing out my format. So far, attendees like it a lot (5 star reviews).

3. A place where “No” means no and “Yes” means yes.

As awful as my first experience was, when I took part in speed dating I learned what it was like to say “no” to many people who may not have been right for me. Up until then, I gave people chances when they didn’t really deserve them. The process of speed dating was enough to give me autonomy in my day-to-day relationships. I want to pass that on to others.

Read more about the code of conduct to learn what is and isn’t okay in this community.

4. No other place in the entire province was offering it.

From what I found in market research, speed dating just wasn’t a regular thing in Saskatoon or Saskatchewan. This may be related to the size of the population, or the ideas and attitudes around dating on the prairies. People come from all over the province to take part and get offline for a night.

5. People fascinate-the-fuck outta me.

They give me lots of energy (and endless anecdotes). I’ve already met a lot of interesting people and hope to meet more.

6. Small city dwellers can be a lil’ cliquey.

Sometimes people are slow to trust and don’t make outsiders feel very welcome. They usually have a group of friends they’ve known since kindergarten and they have no idea what it feels like to be “new to town”. This makes it difficult for newcomers to establish solid relationships (both friendships and otherwise).

I am striving to create an inclusive space with Do Sask. Old friends are good. But have you tried meeting new ones? It’s THRILLING.

7. Singles just want to mingle.

No matter what there are always gonna be people looking for friendship, dates, and new ideas. Do Sask removes the question of whether they are open to that or not to save you a lot of time wondering.

8. Trying something new is okay.

People who attend speed dating are ready to give it a shot. I want to offer a service that’s different from my day job as a writer for businesses, but isn’t a complete 360.

9. The success story challenge.

I like a good sky-high goal that I have no control over. I thought speed dating could be a catalyst for friendships and date matches to blossom here in Saskatchewan. Since Do Sask launched speed dating last year, past attendees are already telling me it’s working. (We currently have a 80% match rate!)

If you attended Do Sask speed dating in the past, please share your honest recommendation with your friends. Word of mouth is very important to growing this community!

10. Collaborating with a few local pubs makes it easy for me.

Not a lot of businesses would give a solopreneur full reign of half their pub and invite them to come back regularly. But the Hose & Hydrant Brew Pub did last year! And then Finn’s Irish Pub did this year! Both spots are worth checking out for a casual night with your new date.

Do Sask is a lot more than speed dating! Check out the closed group for city conversations, exclusive contests, and upcoming event listings. Become a VIP to get weekly announcements about more fun things to do in and around Saskatoon.

An earlier version of this post was originally published on Facebook in August, 2017.

Saskatoon Summer Speed Dating Schedule 2018

Speed dating in Saskatoon schedule 2018

Saskatoon summer speed dating will keep you busy all season long if you’re single and ready to meet new people near you. Check out the full schedule below to save the date for six upcoming events in July, August, and September at Finn’s Irish Pub.

See also

Saskatoon in the summer provides a beautiful backdrop to get to know new people. Whether you’re walking around the riverbank, tanning on a beach, enjoying some local ice cream, or checking out one of the local breweries – it’s a great time to level up your dating game.

Where do you meet single people in Saskatoon?

Get ready for Saskatoon summer speed dating at Finn’s Irish Pub in the Park Town Hotel. You’ll check into the event inside the pub before the private event takes place in the Park Town Hotel banquet hall. Click on one of the dates below to register.

Confirmed 25 to 36 dates:

July 10
August 14
September 11

Confirmed 34 to 45 dates:

July 24
August 21
September 18

Your ticket includes date matching services and a complementary welcome drink on me. There is no other provider in Saskatoon that offers this value.

Do Sask runs events with a minimum 7 men and 7 women registered in advance. That means you’re guaranteed at least 7 ‘dates’, or you’ll get your money back.

Saskatoon Summer Speed Dating 2018

Where: Finn’s Irish Pub in the Park Town Hotel
When: Tuesdays 7:00 – 9:00 p.m
What: 120 mins of fun & fast dating
Cost: $35 includes all taxes, fees, and a welcome drink

Finn’s Irish Pub generously invited Saskatoon Speed Dating to take over their space for the summer to give you a shot at love. Follow Finn’s Irish Pub on Facebook for other unique events in Saskatoon.

Gay Bars and Nightclubs in Saskatchewan

Gay Bars and Nightclubs in Saskatchewan: Divas

Saskatchewan isn’t necessarily known as the world’s most progressive place. With our biggest exports being grain and potash, the common stereotype is that we’re akin to America’s deep south – conservative, closed-minded farmers. And it doesn’t help that a once-frustrated hometown star, Joni Mitchell, labelled the entire community of Saskatoon as bigoted.

Gay Bars & Nightclubs in Saskatchewan

That’s why it’s impressive that we have a few dedicated spaces for the LGBTQ community. While there is no “gay district”, we’ve got gay-friendly locales that you can spread out to across the province.

Since Pride Month is in full swing, I thought I’d take some time to raise awareness for the gay nightclubs and bars in Saskatchewan that you can take advantage of all year. Because homosexuality should be accepted as a norm in society and we’ve still got a long way to go.

Enjoy a cocktail and meet up with other like-minded peeps. Between Regina and Saskatoon, there are three major nightclubs that serve gay clientele:

Diva’s Nightclub in Saskatoon

Gay Bars and Nightclubs in Saskatchewan: Divas
Photo via Diva’s

Opening nearly 40 years ago, Diva’s is a historic establishment that boasts itself as “Saskatoon’s Premier Gay Bar”. Come in through the back alley on an average weekend for laser lights, live DJs, and dancing. Save the date for special events like regular Ru Paul’s Drag Race viewing parties, drag queen contests, and eye-popping live entertainment.

PiNK Lounge & Nightclub in Saskatoon

With a multi-level interior design that changes almost as quickly as a chameleon, PiNK’s operators like to keep patrons on their toes. The last time I went, they had a giant raised pole in the middle of the dance floor – who knows what they’ll have next month! Plenty of inclusive events happen here regularly.

Q Nightclub & Lounge in Regina

As one of the last community-owned gay bars in Canada, Q is a hub for Regina’s LGBTQ crowd. Feel connected and welcomed at weekly open mics, drag queen bingo, karaoke, trivia, and more! Q also hosts special events complete with go-go dancers.

Local Gay-Friendly Bars

The following Saskatoon* spots work with the LGBTQ community to create a gay-friendly space and regular themed events:

Village Guitar & Amp in Riversdale Saskatoon

Guitar shop by day, inspiring event space by night. This one-of-a-kind venue is not a regular bar, but hosts many live music shows, weddings, fundraisers, and more throughout the year.

Capitol Music Club in Downtown Saskatoon

Capitol is a downtown spot with a full-menu and massive interior space for dancing, live music, and comedy nights. For something different, go during the afternoon to enjoy the hanging indoor plants and skylight.

They have signs placed all around the bar explaining what to avoid talking about while inside, including politics and religion.

Amigos Cantina near Broadway in Saskatoon

One of Saskatoon’s biggest community-centred hubs, Amigos Cantina is a place where you’ll enjoy a wide variety of Mexican cuisine and pub classics. They host live musicians, improv comedy, karaoke, and themed dances – sometimes on the same night. Enjoy a cold cocktail on their patio after a long day.

Louis’ Pub at the University of Saskatchewan Campus

Louis’ is a casual student hang-out that partners with the USSU Pride Centre to host LGBTQ events. Along with pub fare, you can find many different reasons to check out Louis’ for live shows and sporting events.

Drift Sidewalk Cafe & Vista Lounge in Riversdale Saskatoon

Whether you’re dropping in for a late brunch, or want spectacular twilight view of the riverbank, the whimsical Drift Sidewalk Cafe & Vista Lounge has some incredible options for you. Both their space and menu is dynamic, with seasonal eats, local craft beer, and cocktails that hit the spot.

Finn’s Irish Pub

Located on the corner of Spadina and 25th Street, Finn’s Irish Pub is a nice place to stop in for a cold brew while walking along the riverbank with your honey. They offer regular free live music, paint nites, and special holiday events. Check out their large patio in the summer time.

*At publishing, I couldn’t easily track down gay-friendly nightclubs or bars in other Saskatchewan cities. If you want to be included on this listing, please send a message to info@dosask.com.

Join the Do Sask Facebook group and sign up to the weekly newsletter to find gay-friendly events and more in Saskatoon.
Featured image: Diva’s Facebook Page

Online Dating in 2018: Six of the Most Frustrating Things According to You

2018 online dating scene is a pain

Last month, Do Sask followers were asked to post their single most frustrating thing about dating in 2018. While compiling the responses, it became obvious that the most frustrating thing about dating is online datingThis post features all comments organized by recurring themes. 

The term ‘online dating’ has become ubiquitous within the dating scene in general. According to an eharmony report, 36% of single Canadians have an online dating profile to increase their odds of finding a romantic relationship in person.

And according to you… online dating is kinda annoying.

What’s the most frustrating thing about online dating in 2018?

These are the biggest pains you’re currently facing in the dating scene. Keep in mind that Do Sask’s sample audience size is limited, so there may be other factors that have been left out.

1. When your group of friends is getting coupled up and there’s not a single mate left for you.

Trying to meet people outside of your immediate circle of friends and having a genuine conversation with them.”

“When you are the only single person you know in your age bracket. And none of your friends know any singles so you are always the odd one out. And vacation prices are always based on double occupancy.”

“There are very few ways of meeting people outside of dating apps and most of my single friends are gay.”

2. When your match’s online dating profile doesn’t match the person sitting across from you.

“So many people are in relationships but try to hook up with someone by putting a fake profile online. They talk to you then tell you “[oh] btw I’m married so we have to keep this on the DL”. How frustrating!”

The lies, oh god the lies!! “5’8” (as I tower over him), “athletic build” (video game couch potato build). It’s like, just be honest people.”

“How fake people can be over the internet.”

3. When unsolicited nudes arrive in your messages. C’mon, it’s 2018!

“The inappropriate pictures some men send, without warning ⚠, on dating apps!”

4. When people want to skip ahead to a quick hookup instead of developing a genuine connection.

“People wanting to “date” for the sole purpose of having sex.”

“Dating apps suck for meeting up with real people and always having to have the hookup convo.”

Finding someone that is serious about relationships and not asking if I’m DTF or if I’m interested in sleeping with younger men.”

“Meeting someone who is truly looking for a relationship.”

“I find is a lot of people want instant gratification. You’re talking to someone and showing interest and if you don’t immediately want to be their girlfriend they move on.”

5. When a combination of infinite options, unrealistic standards, and flaky partners make it hard to think long-term.

“From a male perspective…. the high expectations and constant rejection. Very frustrating.”

“The “way” to meet people but none of them fully tell the truth online…..then you “waste” time talking to them…then meet them…..then never see them again…..

“The choice paralysis of online dating. It affects both sexes, and can manifest different ways, but it’s all frustrating in the end. Everything could be going so well but then they ghost, or bench you for another option… Other times you find yourself hyper-analyzing a potential partner, wondering how many red flags are too many? Are you just being overly critical? Are you settling? Or do you actually deserve better?”

When you are excited about someone and then they ghost you. When you didn’t see it coming and are left wondering what happened. It makes it difficult to continue to open up when there is a new connection.”

“Finding people who say that they are interested then they tell you something all together different months down the road.”

6. When your desire for an old-fashioned meet-cute conflicts with your deliberate intention to be found.

“Dating sucks in your 30’s. It is scary and unnerving!! I hate meeting people online so I just don’t bother.”

“How the internet accelerated the process. Most of you can remember the not-so-distant past when relationships formed authentically. Memories are made when things aren’t rushed and I miss that.”

“It’s hard to narrow it down to one thing!! I know online dating is super popular but I really miss a good ol’ fashioned date with someone you met the old fashioned way! But I feel disconnected when I’m not on dating sites! It’s hard to meet someone that you don’t work with!! Oh the joys of dating in 2018.”

“I’d say the social dynamic of texting and messenger is annoying. I wouldn’t even mind talking on the phone these days but everybody is scared to have phone conversations.”

“The most frustrating thing about dating in 2018 is not being able to see facial expressions when online dating.”

Thanks to all the Saskatoon singles who took the time to leave their comments for this post!

What’s the most frustrating thing about online dating in 2018? Join the DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP to share yours, or stay anonymous and email info@dosask.com.

Saskatoon speed dating saves you from the online dating experience by putting you in front of at least 7 singles in one night. On average, 80% of attendees find a friend or more.  Register for the next event in Saskatoon! Please check the Do Sask Eventbrite page for upcoming dates and details.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook to let our community know about your speed dating blunders.

FIRST ANNIVERSARY: Catching up with a speed dating match one year later

Speed Dating Match success story

“It’s a crapshoot. You never know what’s going to stick!” – George, past attendee and speed dating match

On April 18, 2017, the first Do Sask Saskatoon Speed Dating event took place on the third floor of the Hose & Hydrant Pub.

In celebration of my first anniversary, I invited attendees from the very first speed dating event to share their success stories. With 11 people in attendance it was an intimate crowd. Fast forward twelve months. Speed dating has had more than a dozen successful events, hundreds of matches, and lots of singles ditching their smartphones for some real face time.

Do Sask began with a goal to help people get connected on a deeper level to the community around them. With all the buzz, I’m sure you’re just as curious as I am about how speed dating has an impact on attendees once the event is over.

This week, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from two of my very first attendees, a lady named Kate* and a gentleman named George*, who are now in a long-term relationship.

Kate and George have been seeing each other since meeting at speed dating last year. When I asked them if they would let me interview them on their experience, they agreed. I talked to each interviewee separately and encouraged them to give honest answers.

Read on if you’re interested in learning about how a real speed dating match develops into a relationship.

GEORGE SAYS

“Speed dating for me was far better than using POF or Tinder, it was a lot more personal and allowed for a better chance at a good first impression.

I matched with Kate and we’re still together. We were friends for the first little bit and then started dating later in the year. I think the benefit of speed dating is putting people together in a room and taking away the ease of making a quick judgment call and moving on, it forces a bit of conversation and getting to know the other person a little bit more than you would see on a dating profile.”

KATE SAYS

“I am happy to say that George and I (whom I met that night) are still together. It was 7 months of being in a relationship as of April 1st. We wanted to be friends for a little bit once we met and he asked me to start a relationship on September 1st at the fireworks festival.

I’m so happy I took a chance and went, took a chance and checked yes and I have you to thank 🙂 so Thank you! I hope that mine and George’s relationship continues to bloom and see where this adventure takes us :)”

What did you think about speed dating before you came?

George: “I heard about speed dating from the movies, but I didn’t know what to expect going into it. I was going in with an open mind.”

Kate: “Honestly the first thing that came to my mind was the scene in the movie Hitch when they have speed dating at the end of the movie. I knew it was meeting someone, you talk for a couple of minutes, then you go on to the next one. Check yes, or no. And if you match ‘yes’ you exchange numbers. I didn’t know what to expect as far as the kind of people I would meet, or anything like that.”

What did you want out of speed dating?

Continue reading “FIRST ANNIVERSARY: Catching up with a speed dating match one year later”

The 5 Biggest Speed Dating Blunders You Should Avoid

Speed Dating Blunders can make or break your match potential. Note: no one pictured is guilty of that.

Now that Do Sask has passed the milestone of over a dozen speed dating events in Saskatoon, I’ve gotten to interact with hundreds of singles. Many of them are frustrated with the modern dating scene. As a professional speed dating host, I see the differences between the people who are successful in finding their match and the ones who aren’t. This post is about the five biggest speed dating blunders that all attendees should avoid.

What has really stood out to me during the past year is the behavior patterns that interrupt match potential. These can be improved with a little effort. My hope is that everyone who doesn’t know what to expect will read this, so that they know what to avoid doing at speed dating.

If you’ve attended a speed dating event in Saskatoon, you already know that it can be a really fun way to meet new people. Let’s keep it that way by steering clear of the most common speed dating don’ts.

Here are five of the biggest speed dating blunders you should totally avoid:

Setting sky-high expectations before you arrive.

 

There’s an entire segment of the (completely dateable) single population that may take you by complete surprise. Instant attraction is not a good indicator of match potential. Choose to get to know someone better if you like what they have to say.

Long-term compatibility is a whole lot more complex than visceral attraction. Keep your mind open to forming a more meaningful bond with the people you meet. You never know how the sparks could fly if you won’t take the time to find out more.

No one is perfect. And meeting someone who immediately checks all the boxes is a rare thing indeed. Plus, I don’t screen everyone who buys a ticket to be perfect for you. That’s the beauty of it!

Listen to your gut. That 4 minutes is designed to make it an easy choice for you.

Neglecting to show off your best side.

Before every speed dating event, I send a message with a few friendly reminders to attendees. One of the most important things on the list is to show up as your best self. 

There is no dress code at speed dating because I want people to be completely comfortable. However if being comfortable means you haven’t taken care of your basic hygiene, or kept stained/tattered clothing in your wardrobe – that’s a speed dating blunder.

Putting in a bit of effort not only shows your dates that you care about yourself, but it could make a difference in your match results.

Lacking the ability to live in the moment.

When you sign up for speed dating you’re indicating that you’ll be present for 2 hours. It’s a speed dating blunder to constantly check your watch, tear through Q & As, and forget to give your full attention to the task at hand: your 4 minute dateFocus on each person at a time to get the most potential out of the night.

For example, I will never forget the speed dater who asked every 4 dates when speed dating was over, so they could go to the next event they had planned that night. They even brought a friend who had to wait for them to finish in the pub downstairs.

Your dates will notice if you seem like you’re in a rush to get on to the next thing. If you’re stuck on how to break the cycle of distraction, check out this article.

Letting your nerves get the best of your confidence.

Everyone is a little nervous at speed dating. It’s totally normal to feel that way, but you’re in control of how you behave. It should come as no surprise that assertive people tend to get the most matches.

Aggressive behaviour such as calling out your date for an innocent comment, or asking way too-personal questions is a no-no. People avoid those who are too hostile towards others, even if it’s a joke.

On the other hand, when one of the dates makes up their mind that they’re not worthy of the other person’s attention, they “give up too soon”. This can creep up after the event has ended. For instance, when you have your match’s contact details in your inbox and you decide to text/email instead of setting up your first real (i.e. over 4 minute) date.

Spoiler alert: your match wants to be asked out! The best thing to do with your match’s contact details is to set up a date at a time that works for both of you.

Giving everyone a shot… and losing yourself in the process.

In contrast to my first point on high expectations, some will want to connect with everyone they meet at speed dating. This is what I call “the shotgun approach”.

Attendees who mark every date as a ‘yes’ or ‘friend’ email me overwhelmed. They say they don’t know where to start and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

There’s a reason you have the option to mark someone a ‘no’. One of the most valuable lessons speed dating taught me was learning that not everyone is for me.  I talk about this point in nearly every speed dating introduction ‘how-to’.

Remember: dates you mark as a ‘yes’ could likely mark you as a ‘yes’. Be cognizant of that when you’re finalizing your decision after every 4 minute date. 

Learn from the mistakes of others and avoid these speed dating blunders. I hope these tips will help you improve your results the next time you attend a Do Sask speed dating event.

Do you have a speed dating blunder? Join the DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP to share yours, or stay anonymous and email info@dosask.com.
Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook to let our community know about your speed dating blunders.

Speed Dating Blunders can make or break your match potential. Note: no one pictured is guilty of that.
The people pictured above have nothing to do with the “speed dating blunders” topic of this post.